QUETTA: The Inspector General of Police, Mohammad Amlish Khan, has said that law and order situation in the province is not purely a home-grown problem because criminal elements from Iran, Afghanistan and Sindh often penetrate into Balochistan.
He said that police with the help of other law-enforcement agencies had recently made a breakthrough by eliminating the provincial leadership of the banned Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ). The development has had a positive effect on the law and order situation in the province.
Talking to journalists, he said: “Balochistan police have been confronting the challenge of terrorism for years. The province has borders with Iran, Afghanistan and Sindh from where terrorists, militants and criminals enter Balochistan. Because of limited financial sources, police cannot monitor the entry of all such people into Balochistan.”
He said top leaders of LeJ in the province, including Osman Saifullah, had been killed and their accomplices arrested in the recent intelligence-driven joint operations of police and other law-enforcement agencies.
He said that banned militant organisations such as Jaish-i-Islam had stepped up their activities in the province after the signing of an agreement to build China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which would pass through the province. “Several militant organisations have formed a joint network to carry out terrorist activities in the province.”
However, the IG said, a senior leader of Jaish-i-Islam, Mehmood Rind, had been killed and some of his accomplices arrested in a recent operation.
He said five members of a militant group involved in targeted killing of settlers and Shia Hazaras in Quetta had also been arrested.
“We have traced the network of the organisation and hope to arrest its more members soon,” he said.
In reply to a question, Mr Khan said that under the National Action Plan, 53 cases against terror suspects had been referred to military courts which had initiated the trials.
He said police had launched a witness protection programme because witnesses were often afraid of recording statements against terrorists.
To another question, he said that 83 CCTV cameras would be installed on six entry and exit routs of Quetta and 100 such cameras inside the city. Police have erected 20 barriers and deployed 300 policemen in the city to maintain security.
Mr Khan said that 654 police personnel had been killed in the fight against terrorism in Balochistan since 2006.
He said that Levies Force had the jurisdiction over 95 per cent area of Balochistan and only five per cent of its area was under the control of police.
“We have repeatedly demanded an end to the anomaly in the law-enforcement system but some politicians are opposing the idea of merger of Levies Force with police,” he said.
The IG said that 500 people would be recruited in Balochistan police soon.
He advised militants to take benefit of amnesty announced by the provincial apex committee and shun violence.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2015